Monthly Survey of Food Services and Drinking Places (MSFSDP)

Detailed information for November 2007





Record number:


This survey provides information to measure the economic performance and health of the Food Services and Drinking Places Industry in the Canadian economy.

Data release - February 1, 2008


The Monthly Survey of Food Services and Drinking Places provides estimates of the value of sales of restaurants, caterers, and drinking places by province and territory and by industry at the North American Industry Classification System (NAICS) four-digit level. These data are used by federal and provincial governments, private associations and food service businesses for consulting, marketing and planning purposes. The provincial and federal governments use the information to estimate provincial taxation shares.

Reference period: Month


  • Accommodation and food
  • Business, consumer and property services

Data sources and methodology

Target population

The target population includes all statistical establishments that are classified as either food services or drinking places (NAICS 722) in the North American Industry Classification System (NAICS).

Instrument design

This questionnaire collects data on monthly sales of food service establishments. The items on the questionnaire have remained unchanged for several years. Some minor modifications were made with the survey redesign of 2007 to facilitate its use and clarify a few elements. Associations representing the industry were consulted.


This is a sample survey with a cross-sectional design.

The frame, derived from Statistics Canada's Business Register, includes about 82,500 enterprises with one or more establishment classified to NAICS 722. Each enterprise must be classified on the Business Register as alive and active. Most are simple enterprises (with a single establishment) but about 1,300 are complex enterprises (with multiple establishments) and they have about 7,600 establishments. The sampling unit is the enterprise which is a cluster of establishments classified to NAICS 722 belonging to the enterprise.

The sample is based on a stratified simple random design. The frame is stratified according to Province / Territory and by 4 digit NAICS: 7221 (Full service restaurants), 7222 (Limited service eating places), 7223 (Caterers and food service contractors), and 7224 (Drinking places). These strata are further stratified based on a revenue measure of enterprise size derived from the Business Register. The take-all stratum contains the complex enterprises and the large enterprises. There are two take-some strata that contain the medium size enterprises and in these strata a simple random sample is taken. The take-none strata contain the small enterprises where no sample is taken; instead administrative data (GST) is used for estimation. Overall, the sample size is about 2,000 enterprises covering more than 10,000 establishments.

Data sources

Responding to this survey is mandatory.

Data are collected directly from survey respondents and extracted from administrative files.

Data collection, data capture, preliminary edit and follow-up are performed by Head Office staff.

Data are collected through a mail-out/mail-back process, while providing respondents with the option of telephone or other electronic filing methods.

Follow-up procedures are applied when a questionnaire has not been received after a pre-specified period of time.

Administrative data (from the Goods and Services Tax - GST) are the main source for the estimates for the new take-none strata and for the take-some strata for the full-service restaurants and the limited-service eating places for the following provinces: Quebec, Ontario, Manitoba, Saskatchewan, Alberta and British Columbia.

View the Questionnaire(s) and reporting guide(s) .

Error detection

Data are examined for inconsistencies and errors using automated edits coupled with analytical review. Where possible, data are verified using alternate sources.


Imputation is used to estimate for non-response and missing data. Imputation methods include the use of historical monthly trends from data collected in previous years and from current GST data. Data from imputation sources that fail statistical edits are considered as outliers and are not used in the imputation process.


Sales are estimated by multiplying each data response by its sampling weight. For the take-all strata the weight is 1 since all enterprises are selected in the sample. For the take-some strata, the sample is selected by simple random sampling and the weight is therefore the inverse of the probability of selection in the stratum.

In the take-some strata for NAICS 7221 and 7222, in the provinces of British Columbia, Alberta, Saskatchewan, Manitoba, Ontario, and Quebec (where the overall sample size is about 500 enterprises), a model is used to improve the quality of the estimate. This avoids the need for a higher sample size and, therefore, reduces response burden and survey costs.

The model is derived by linking the collected sales data of the simple enterprises to their corresponding GST data of the previous month. The ratio of collected sales data to GST data is calculated for each province and NAICS stratum. Then the total of GST sales for the previous month is calculated for each province and NAICS stratum and the total is multiplied by its corresponding stratum ratio. Thus, the purpose of the model is to estimate the current month's sales using collected survey data of the current month and GST data from the previous month.

There is no sample for the take-none strata. Sales are estimated by the GST ratio model approach described above; ratios are calculated in the corresponding take-some strata.

The standard error and CV of the estimates are derived directly from the stratified simple random sample.

Quality evaluation

Prior to dissemination, combined survey results are analyzed for comparability. In general, this includes a detailed review of individual responses, general economic conditions, historic trends, and comparisons with other data sources.

Disclosure control

Statistics Canada is prohibited by law from releasing any information it collects that could identify any person, business, or organization, unless consent has been given by the respondent or as permitted by the Statistics Act. Various confidentiality rules are applied to all data that are released or published to prevent the publication or disclosure of any information deemed confidential. If necessary, data are suppressed to prevent direct or residual disclosure of identifiable data.

Revisions and seasonal adjustment

Raw data are revised, on a monthly basis, for the two preceding reference months of the current reference month being published.

Data are also seasonally adjusted.

Data accuracy

The response rate, which is about 75%, is a measure of the proportion of those sample units that have responded in time for inclusion in the estimate.

The coefficient of variation is used to measure the sampling error of the estimates. The coefficient of variation, at the national level for total sales, is 0.8%. However, this coefficient of variation does not include the component of sampling error derived from the model (as described in the section on estimation). This applies to the take-none strata and the take-some strata for NAICS 7221 and 7222, in British Columbia, Alberta, Saskatchewan, Manitoba, Ontario, and Quebec.

Codes for estimated coefficients of variation codes are provided in the tables below,
A - Excellent CV is 0.0% to 5.0%
B - Very good CV is 5.1% to 10.0%
C - Good CV is 10.1% to 15.0%
D - Acceptable CV is 15.1% to 25.0%
E - Use with caution CV is 25.1% to 35.0%
F - Unreliable CV is larger than 35.1%

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